Safe Summer Gatherings: Keeping Your Dog Healthy at Backyard Barbecues

Dr. Erica Feiste, DVM
Partner Veterinarian CityVet Virginia Beach

Summer is here, and that means it’s time for backyard barbecues and festive gatherings. While these events can be a great way to enjoy the warm weather with friends and family, it’s important to ensure they’re also safe for all attendees—including our furry friends. At CityVet, we’re here to help you keep your dog healthy and happy during your summer celebrations.

Safety Tips

  1. Keep a Watchful Eye: Always monitor your dog around food and grilling areas. Ensure they don’t snatch any scraps or dangerous items that could harm them.
  2. Hydrate: Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water, especially on hot days to prevent dehydration.
  3. Shade and Rest: Provide a cool, shaded area where your dog can rest away from the crowd and heat.

Foods to Avoid

Several barbecue and summer foods can be harmful to dogs. Here’s what to keep out of paw’s reach:

  • Onions and Garlic: These can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage.
  • Avocado: Contains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
  • Grapes and Raisins: Can cause kidney failure in dogs.
  • Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine: These contain substances called methylxanthines, which are highly toxic to dogs.
  • Alcohol: Even small amounts of alcohol, both in beverages and food, can be poisonous to dogs.
  • Bones and Corn on the Cob: These can cause choking or intestinal blockages.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Something Harmful

If you suspect that your dog has ingested any dangerous foods or objects, act immediately:

  1. Remove Your Dog from the Area: Prevent them from eating any more of the harmful item.
  2. Check for Symptoms: These can include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, lethargy, or abnormal behavior.
  3. Call CityVet: Contact us or your nearest veterinary emergency service. Be ready to describe what your dog consumed and any symptoms they are exhibiting.

4. Prevent Overheating

The July heat can be intense, and overheating can be a serious risk:

  • Always provide plenty of fresh, cool water for your pet.
  • Make sure your pet has access to a shady spot when outside, and never leave your pet in a car unattended.

Consider setting up a cooling mat or a kiddie pool for your pet to relax in if they enjoy water.

If you suspect your dog has ingested something harmful during a backyard gathering or are concerned about their safety during summer festivities, call or visit CityVet. Our team is ready to provide prompt and professional care to ensure your pet’s health and safety. Remember, quick action is crucial in preventing more serious health issues.

For more information or to schedule an urgent visit, check us out at CityVet. Enjoy your summer gatherings, and let’s keep them safe for everyone, including our pets!